But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” —Acts 1:8
When Alfred Nobel discovered an explosive element stronger than anything the world had known at the time, he asked a friend and Greek scholar for a word that conveyed the meaning of explosive power. The Greek word was dunamis, and Nobel named his invention “dynamite.”
Dunamis is the same word that Jesus used when He told His disciples, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). In other words, “You shall receive explosive, dynamite power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
Think about how this power transformed first-century believers. Prior to Pentecost, Simon Peter couldn’t stand up for his faith when strangers asked him if he was a follower of Jesus. After the power of the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, Peter stood up and boldly preached the gospel, resulting in 3,000 people being saved.
After Saul of Tarsus became a believer on the Damascus Road, God led Ananias to go and pray for him. He was then filled with the Holy Spirit, and from that moment on, he went out and proclaimed Christ in the synagogues.
This power is for a purpose. It is not the power to be crazy or the energy to do weird things. It is the power to be a witness . . . power to have the courage to tell someone about Jesus Christ . . . power to tell people about what Jesus has done for you.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to The power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, emphasis mine)
I’ve been pondering this scripture lately, especially the verse 20. As I’ve sat deep in thought it has stirred me to search my heart and question myself.
* Am I allowing the Lord to work His power in me? * Am I obstructing His working through me to others? * What am I doing to clog up the works?
Do we all have God’s power working in us? Let’s do a little word study and see.
* Now: This word in Greek does not mean at this moment of time. It means but, moreover, and, also.
* Able: The Greek word is dunamai, meaning to be able or possible, to be of power, powerful, to have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources or through a state of mind, through favorable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom.
* Immeasurably: is from three words, meaning:
over, above, beyond, superior to, more than
the point from which motion or action proceeds, from, out of
in the sense of beyond, superabundant in quantity or superior in quality, excessive, over and above, more than is necessary, surpassing.
* Power: The Greek word is dunamis, which comes from dunamai (where the word dynamite comes from), and means force, miraculous and inherent power, strength, ability, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth.
* Work: Energeo (which comes from the Greek word energes from which we get our word energy) is the Greek word and means to be active, to effect, efficient, be fervent, be mighty in, work, work effectually in, to be operative, showing oneself active or display one’s activity.
But what is the moreover and also? The previous few verses (14-19) tell us…
* that, according to His glorious riches, the Lord would grant us to be strengthened with might through His Spirit * that Christ would dwell in our hearts through faith * that we would know how wide, long, high, and deep is the love of Christ and be rooted and grounded in His love * to know that this love transcends or surpasses knowledge * and that we may be filled with the fullness of God.
If we were to rewrite all this, it might go like this: According to God’s riches, as Christ dwells in our hearts through faith, perceiving His endless love as above our knowledge of Him, we are filled with God’s fullness.
Moreover, He is then powerful, having the ability to do more than necessary, over and above all we ask or imagine, according to His dynamite, miraculous power, and strength that is active, effectual, and operative in us.
In other words…He can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine only if we allow His power to work within us.
If we have this dynamite power in us, is it efficiently working? If our pipes, so to speak, are clogged with the sin of whatever kind, it acts as sludge to contaminate His presence, and His power will not flow. We must be cleansed and filled with God’s holiness for His miracle-working power to be operative in us.
Is His dynamite power efficiently working in me? I wondered, so I asked myself…
* What works go undone? * What wounds of others go unattended? * What heartaches of others go uncomforted? * What needs of others go unmet because I do not listen to the Lord’s leading or I harbor some sin, thereby, not allowing Him to work efficiently through me?
When Jesus sent out the disciples, He gave them “power and authority” (Luke 9:1) over demons, to preach the kingdom, and to heal the sick. The Greek word used here for power is, again, dunamis. Exousia is the word used for authority and also means privilege, force, mastery, a token of control, delegated influence, jurisdiction, and so on.
That same power and delegated influence has been given to us if Christ lives in us. Isn’t that an awesome thought? If we are “a dwelling place of God in the Spirit,” (Eph. 2:22 NKJV) then His living power and energy resides within us, working as we agree with Him to accomplish His works.
Oh, if only we could begin to grasp the magnitude of His dynamite power and allow Him full reign and rein in our hearts, how immeasurably more could we do for the Lord?
Lord, I am Yours to command. Cleanse me of all that would hinder the flow of Your love, Your Spirit, and Your dynamite power. Work Your will in me that I may bring glory to Your Name and be a reflection of Your mighty power, love, and grace to others. Amen!
strength power, ability
inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
power for performing miracles
moral power and excellence of soul
the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
power and resources arising from numbers
power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts